Material innovation for lightweight automotive construction

TRIMET Aluminium SE has developed a new aluminium alloy. The trimal®-38 high pressure die cast alloy sees the aluminium specialist broaden its range of materials to meet the increasing material requirements in automotive construction and open up new application areas for light metal.

With the new trimal®-38 (AlSi8ZnMn) alloy, TRIMET provides a material that enables the achievement of further reductions in component weight while maintaining proven mechanical properties. The high pressure die cast alloy also achieves excellent castability and ductility during manufacture of large die cast structural components.

“Modern vehicle construction offers new application options for aluminium as a material. The goal of achieving ever reduced weight while simultaneously maintaining mechanical properties makes very high demands on material design. We have succeeded in mastering this balancing act with our new alloys”, says Thomas Reuther, member of the Executive Board at TRIMET Aluminium SE. 

Punch rivetability is given in the as-cast condition
The figures show a crack-free closing head in plan view (left) and micrograph (right) through steel sheet and cast component.

Despite its low silicon content of maximum 8.5 percent, the new alloy can be cast using the process parameters of the widespread trimal®-37 (AlSi9Mn) alloy, thus facilitating a change of alloy. Other alloy elements optimize its flowability, strength and die filling capacity and, simultaneously, minimize the adhesion tendency of the material.

trimal®-38 is also extremely resistant to corrosion. Limitation of magnesium content to a maximum of 0.01 percent means that the material need not be heat treated to achieve the desired mechanical properties. trimal®-38 is particularly suitable for components in electric vehicles such as battery housings or structural components that must withstand crash load conditions without heat treatment and are joined through welding or with self-piercing rivets. 

Sustainability topic

In our aluminum smelters, foundries and remelting plants we continuously identify and utilize potential for increasing energy efficiency and reducing emissions.